Why not try some of these fun activities to get your kids off the couch and into the (exercise) zone. The benefits to their mental and physical health are too good to ignore.
With a bit of investigation and a little effort your couch potato could turn into a healthy fan of fitness, literally overnight. Here’s how to get your children off the couch.
Yoga classes for children include interactive poses and games designed to hold the child’s attention and stimulate their physical, mental and emotional abilities. Children’s classes are usually more focused on the introduction of yoga basics than memorising and perfecting poses and routines. They learn the basic techniques for relaxation, self-control and proper breathing. Unlike most traditional physical activities, yoga teaches creativity rather than competition. Classes for preschool children usually involve imitating, playing, singing and moving. Many yoga postures are named after animals and resemble them. This activity makes use of children’s natural interest in, and affinity for, animals when asking them to make a specific pose.
Yoga has been shown to be a highly efficient method for treating different ailments in children. This includes reducing headaches, the improvement of concentration and it can even help minimise the risk of obesity. Studies prove that children with autism spectrum disorders or post-traumatic stress disorders can benefit from the breathing exercises and yoga postures. Children get to work on their flexibility, strength and balance with the various postures. They also get to work on their sense of focus and self-awareness.
This is a fast moving, non-contact team game that allows boys and girls to play together. Each player wears a belt with two Velcro tags attached to it, or shorts with Velcro patches. Attacking players attempt to dodge, evade and pass a rugby ball while defenders work to prevent them from scoring. A player scores by “tagging” or pulling the tag from the ball carrier, rather than making a full-contact tackle. The teams are usually seven-a-side.
The most apparent benefit of tag rugby is that, thanks to its non-contact nature, it is regarded as a safe sport for children. Many tag rugby coaches believe young players should focus more on the fun of the game, rather than the competition. This makes it an enjoyable sport for players of all skill levels. It will also improve the older child’s performance on the field during a “traditional” rugby game as it develops fitness, pace and evasive running.
Children learn differently but games and activities are great ways to facilitate learning.
Zumbatomic is a fun dance and fitness programme. Designed specifically for children with age-appropriate songs, games and dance steps to encourage enthusiastic participation. Zumbatomic combines high-energy to classic Zumba rhythms – salsa, cumbia, reggaeton and merengue. It includes games to provide a safe, effective and fun workout. Make-up or costumes are not needed and the classes are supportive and noncompetitive. Zumbatomic classes take into consideration a child’s developing motor skills and shorter attention span. Classes are usually split into two main age groups: for four to seven year olds and for eight to 12 year olds.
Along with physical fitness, Zumbatomic develops balance, coordination, discipline, memory, creativity and self-esteem. It also teaches leadership, respect, teamwork, confidence, responsibility and social skills.
This fast and somewhat extreme sport uses a blokart, which is a light, compact three-wheeled buggy and sail. Your child sits in a sling seat, with their legs stretched out in front of them and they take hold of the steering bar and sheet rope. The blokart is manoeuvrable and requires few sailing adjustments, which make learning to sail particularly easy.
It can be as relaxing or as thrilling as you want it to be. All you need to get going is a long stretch of ground, for example, along the beach or in a park. Blokart sailing is easy to learn and the blokart is simple to assemble and use. It is also a great way to spend quality time outdoors with your thrill-seeker child.
Find some other fun while learning activities for children here.
Fencers do battle following fixed movements and strict rules. In a competition, three types of swords are used – foil, épée and sabre. Fencers compete in intense individual contests and in team events. Matches require speed, focus and on-point technique. Your opponent can make an attack in any number of ways and your defence and counter-attack need to be lightning fast. There are fencing schools that will take students as young as 6 years old.
This individual sport has physical and cognitive benefits with students describing fencing as a “physical game of chess”. Fencers need to develop strategy and quick reflexes to be good at the sport. They also learn good sportsmanship, self-discipline and how to make complex decisions. They have to analyse problems and think on their feet. Research has revealed that fencing can enhance mathematical performance, and help children learn to pay attention and develop their decision-making abilities. Fencing helps people with attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to focus.